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BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman | March 18, 2014
U.S. bankruptcy judge Robert Gordon on Tuesday denied a bid for more time sought by Westport developer Patrick Turner, who has been trying for almost a decade to turn a blank swath of Baltimore's western waterfront into a vibrant, mixed-use community. Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp., which made a $30 million loan to Turner's group that was due in 2010, holds “all the cards,” said Gordon, criticizing Turner's team for not providing a more detailed explanation of how they propose to move forward and why such a plan would merit an extension.
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BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | March 17, 2014
A U.S. bankruptcy court is scheduled to decide Tuesday whether to grant more time to developer Patrick Turner, who has tried for 10 years to transform the empty Westport waterfront from grassy marsh to a bustling neighborhood. The decision could end efforts by Turner, who was hailed as a visionary for his 2006 plan to create a $1.4 billion community of offices, townhouses and hotels on about 42 acres along the western corner of the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River, but who has struggled to find the money to push the project forward.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | March 10, 2014
A bankruptcy judge approved First Mariner Bancorp's request to auction off its Baltimore bank quickly, a process that drew heated objections from creditors and the U.S. trustee. Judge David E. Rice set the deadline to bid on 1st Mariner Bank for April 7, with the auction to be held three days later if any bids come through. In an order filed over the weekend, he wrote that the bank's parent company "articulated good and sufficient reasons" for the timing and other procedures. The bank isn't part of the bankruptcy case, and its parent has stressed that bank deposits, contracts and other business will not be affected.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2014
Columbia's W.R. Grace & Co. said Thursday that it will give CEO Fred E. Festa a $1.5 million cash payment, part of a package of "emergence" bonuses in the wake of its exit from a nearly 13-year-long bankruptcy case. The chemical maker, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001 after asbestos claims against it soared, said its reorganization plan allowed for $6 million in such payments. Grace emerged from bankruptcy protection Feb. 3. It expects to pay the bonuses in March.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2014
The parent company of 1st Mariner Bank said Monday that it has signed a deal to sell the bank after years of regulatory demands that it increase its capital, potentially ending the company's long struggle to right itself after the mortgage crisis. A group of investors, many with local ties, have agreed to buy the Baltimore bank — the largest based in the region — and recapitalize it with about $100 million. First Mariner Bancorp, the parent company, said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday afternoon in Baltimore federal court to "facilitate the transaction.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | February 3, 2014
After nearly 13 years in bankruptcy, chemical maker W.R. Grace & Co. formally emerged from court protection Monday, bringing an end to one of the longest Chapter 11 cases in U.S. history. The Columbia-based company's joint plan of reorganization went into effect Monday, establishing two trusts that will award more than $4 billion to personal injury claimants and property owners. "It has been expected perhaps for longer than we would want, but nonetheless we're very pleased to move on," said Rich Badmington, Grace's vice president of global communications.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | February 1, 2014
Chemical maker W.R. Grace & Co. is about to go where it hasn't been for nearly 13 years: out of bankruptcy. The Chapter 11 case, one of the longest on record, got underway as the Columbia-based company faced more than 100,000 asbestos-related claims. Now, after negotiations, settlements and numerous appeals, Grace said it is finally on the brink of emerging from court protection - possibly as soon as Monday. In between, Grace agreed to pay all creditors in full, acquired more than two dozen companies and pushed its stock from $1.52 a share to more than $90. "This is just an absolutely amazing Chapter 11 case," said Peter A. Chapman, president of Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, which publishes newsletters about corporate restructuring.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | December 23, 2013
Columbia-based W.R. Grace & Co. cleared the last major hurdle Monday to its exit from nearly 13 years of bankruptcy protection, settling the final remaining appeal to its reorganization plan. The chemical maker said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it agreed to pay $129 million to the lenders who hold its pre-bankruptcy bank debt, in addition to the distributions called for in the reorganization plan. If the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approves the settlement, the lenders will withdraw their appeal, Grace said.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | October 23, 2013
Chemical maker W.R. Grace & Co. said Wednesday that its income in the third quarter fell 8 percent from a year earlier as it continues to deal with challenges in its catalysts business, which includes products used in oil refining. But its earnings per share — after the Columbia company adjusted out costs related to its long-running bankruptcy proceedings, asbestos claims and business lines it no longer has — came in at $1.07 for the July through September period, beating market expectations of $1. Adjusted earnings were $1.04 per share a year ago, the company said.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2013
Facing a flurry of lead paint lawsuits, a nonprofit company that provides affordable housing in Baltimore has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. City Homes Inc. and its subsidiaries, which operate more than 300 apartment units in what officials deem "troubled neighborhoods," face more than 70 lead paint lawsuits, according to the filing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. In Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, businesses attempt to reorganize their debts in an effort to continue operating.
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